First Time Question

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

pilot45

Active Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2009
Messages
29
Reaction score
0
Location
Fort Lauderdale
I started my first batch last night. It was an Ironmaster Stout Extract kit. I used the 4lbs of extract and then added 2lbs of sugar, just like the guy at the store told me to do. I have been reading some threads about extract brewing and some say that using sugar or not doubling the malt will yield a pretty bad beer. Any opinions? Now I am worried that my first batch may just suck. Has anyone used this method before and gotten a good beer?
 

rsmith179

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2009
Messages
934
Reaction score
1
Location
Cleveland, OH
Good beer comes from many different methods. Some people never use sugar and opt for the DME instead. I have personally used sugars in my Belgian Saison and it came out great. The sugar helps add alcohol and also helps "dry out" the beer a little bit. Don't be concern about this and don't second guess yourself as much as you are. You will quickly find that making beer is pretty easy. Yeah, there's a lot of advanced stuff out there, but just follow the directions on your kit and you'll be fine.
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2008
Messages
12,262
Reaction score
732
Post your ingredients and recipe if you have it. Someone here will most likely chime in and tell you what qualities you can expect from the final brew. :)
 

Dwain

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2009
Messages
1,135
Reaction score
7
Location
Hill Country, TX
First, congratulations on your first batch. Second, RDWHAHB or your favorite alternative. How fast is the air lock checking? When you say sugar, what kind are you talking about (dextrose?)? It has been many years since I brewed with an exract kit. 2lbs. seems like a lot of sugar but I can't recall. One of these other guys with a better memory will jump in. But the main thing is, let it run its course and don't worry. See the second sentence. Luck - Dwain
 
OP
pilot45

pilot45

Active Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2009
Messages
29
Reaction score
0
Location
Fort Lauderdale
Thank you for the advice thus far. As for my ingredients, it was the 4lb Ironmaster Porter kit, which was a 4lb can of concentrated wort. I boiled three gallons of water, removed from heat, added the can, stirred, then placed back over heat, added 2lbs of sugar. I can't recall what kind, I bought it from the brew store and it is what the guy behind the counter recommended. It looked like confectioners sugar. I dissolved all the sugar over heat, then gave the wort an ice bath until it was below 80 degrees. Then I pitched the yeast, which I had already pre-mixed with some water. The yeast came with the kit and was not labeled.

YES, it was dextrose!!!!!! Thank you!!! I put it in the fermenter at 10pm last night, as of 7am this morning there was not too much activity, about 1 bubble every 5 minutes. I am hoping it is a slow process.
 

Dwain

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2009
Messages
1,135
Reaction score
7
Location
Hill Country, TX
I asked about the air lock because that is easy to check. In reality, that's really not the greatest indicator but it is something easy to check that says "something is going on in there." It will speed up and probably has by now. It will be fine. Welcome to the club! - Dwain
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2008
Messages
12,262
Reaction score
732
Good beer comes from many different methods. Some people never use sugar and opt for the DME instead. I have personally used sugars in my Belgian Saison and it came out great. The sugar helps add alcohol and also helps "dry out" the beer a little bit. Don't be concern about this and don't second guess yourself as much as you are. You will quickly find that making beer is pretty easy. Yeah, there's a lot of advanced stuff out there, but just follow the directions on your kit and you'll be fine.
Based on your ingredients (I'm assuming a pre-hopped extract) I would echo the above quote.

It sounds like you will have a stout a little on the dry side (Nothing wrong with that). Don't worry about fermentation, as long as you can keep it as close to about 70f as possible it will be fine. Use the fermentation time to study up in this forum :)
 
OP
pilot45

pilot45

Active Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2009
Messages
29
Reaction score
0
Location
Fort Lauderdale
OK, I came home yesterday and fermentation was in full swing. The lag time was 12 to 16 hours. Heres another question. I live in Florida, I have the fermenter in a closet in the house. The thermometer on the side of the fermenter read 74 degrees. Once fermentation started, the thermometer slowly started to creep up to 76 degrees. My thermometer has 76 and the high range for an ale. So I cleaned out the spare fridge this morning, made it a bit warmer than usual, and put the fermenter in. I think it should stabilize to around 62 to 66 degrees. My question is this, did I do the right thing?
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2008
Messages
12,262
Reaction score
732
It was getting too hot, so you had to act quickly to get it back down. That was right.
Now you need to find a way to stabilize it. Search this forum for "swamp cooler"
 

Dwain

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2009
Messages
1,135
Reaction score
7
Location
Hill Country, TX
I've brewed in Texas for many years. Due to the ambient temp. the majority of the time, I've always brewed ale. For the first few years, there weren't any PC's much less internet forums so the only place to get info was a homebrew shop and usually, that was over the phone with someone you may or may not ever meet. In the summer, we brewed outside and put our fermenter in a non-air conditoned room by the garage. I'm sure that at night the temp was 80+ most of the time. And we walked to school in the snow, uphill both ways..... Seriously though, We made great beer. Yes temp. control is very important and will affect the taste. But, sanitation and proper boiling procedures are also very important. They were brewing beer for a couple of thousand years before temp. control was possible (not to mention understanding bacteria, yeast etc.). I just don't want you to get too strung out about too many factors at once. Document everything you do and that way you can repeat/omit things in a logical order. Now I'm hooked, I'll want a regular progress reoprt as well as a full taste report. Luck - Dwain
 
OP
pilot45

pilot45

Active Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2009
Messages
29
Reaction score
0
Location
Fort Lauderdale
Good points. I am going to look for "swamp cooler" now. I am also going to search craigslist for someone getting rid of a fridge on the cheap. My wife won't last too long when she sees the fermenter in there. As far as documenting a reports, will do. I've started a brew book with time, temp, ingredients, and whatever else I can document. That way I know where I was and where I am going. Once she is bottled and ready, I will certainly be back to report.
Cheers!
 
Top